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Bourbon & Blood: A Crime and Suspense Thriller (Bill Conlin Thriller Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Garrard Hayes
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $0.99
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Best-selling author Carl Hiaasen describes Mañana: "A … thriller that moves through Mexico like a scalded sidewinder As always, Hjortsberg delivers wild surprises, cool chatter and raw, unforgettable scenes."

Book Description

Bill Conlin returns home to New York City after a dangerous military tour in Afghanistan. Like many veterans haunted by war he has fallen on hard times and is looking for work. Lonely, depressed and out of money he finally meets a beautiful woman and falls in love, but an unforgettable job interview forces him into a life of crime that keeps them apart and endangers their lives. When she is suddenly kidnapped Bill must negotiate with coldhearted killers to buy back her freedom. Will money be enough or will they pay with their lives?


Over the last year 'Bourbon & Blood has been a Kindle best seller:

TOP 100 BEST SELLING PULP FICTION - Over 50 Five Star Reviews.
Over 40,000 downloads for Bill Conlin Series

Author's note

Why did I write this Crime Novel?

Dear Reader,

I've always been a crime fiction and suspense thriller addict. When I was young my parents took me to see Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger and I was hooked. In the 70s movies like: The Getaway, The Seven-Ups and The Godfather were a driving force in my entertainment choices.Over the last ten years I've become a noir mystery and crime fiction vortex, consuming everything I could read, watch and play. It's inspired me to create my own Crime Fiction series. My first novel 'Bourbon & Blood' is the beginning of a series of fast-paced action adventure novels with a touch of romance.I have a strong social media platform and successful book review blog, where I introduce readers to the best authors in mystery, suspense and thriller categories.

Give ‘Bourbon & Blood’ a try and get a page-turning real taste of New York City’s crime underworld with Bill and Dana. I can only hope that you enjoy reading ‘Bourbon & Blood’ as much as I did writing it.

Best regards, Garrard Hayes

Why Read Bourbon & Blood?

Kindle readers who have enjoyed bestselling authors; Lee Childs, Dennis Lehane, Adrian Mckinty and James Lee Burke will love the gritty fast reading style of 'Bourbon & Blood'. In the tradition of action-packed noir thrillers, comes a crime fiction story about an otherwise good guy "bent" bad when he's pulled into the underbelly of the New York City crime scene.

Drugs, sex trafficking and murder... Former soldier and decorated war hero Bill Conlin finds himself immersed in it all when he can't find "respectable" work after his tour in Afghanistan. When his cousin, Jimmy, first tries to talk him into joining Irish mafia boss Frank Sullivan's gang, Bill brushes him off. When he is forced into an interview there's no escape. See what happens next.

All Bill really wants is a normal life with a nice girl, and he's pretty sure the waitress he just met, Dana, is the one. But with his savings running low, and desperate to get out of his Hell's Kitchen near-tenement apartment building, Bill, against his better judgment, agrees to a meeting with Mr. Sullivan--and immediately hits the point of no return... Now with a brand new Lincoln and fancy new uptown digs (complete with a live-in girl whose only purpose is to serve him, and a wardrobe packed with weapons), Bill's tasked to take down a Harlem-based Mexican prostitution ring.

One thing leads to another, however, and the deeper he gets, the more he learns, and the more tangled up he becomes in a lifestyle he never wanted. But how long until he takes matters into his own hands.

Come Connect With Me

Visit my book review blog for more fiction fun.

Editorial Reviews


"There are not sufficient adjectives in the English language to effectively describe this book! It was mind-blowing, to say the very least! The main character, Bill, was awesome! I was rooting for him all the way! The book is amazingly written, it felt like I was right there alongside Bill, shooting and "bustin' a cap in those thugs' asses"
  "Mind-blowing!!!" (Sonja Myburgh, author of A Bullet For You)

"Afghanistan war veteran Bill Conlin is trying to stay straight and out of trouble. What follows is a nail-biting slalom through the streets of New York, as Bill tries to dodge the unwanted attention of Mexican and Russian gangs, as well as keeping on the right side of Sullivan and out of the clutches of the law. However, along the way there is a trail of destruction and collateral damage. A good read."
   "An atmospheric tale of violence and greed" (Charles R Stubbs, author of Web of Deceit)

"Bill Conlin has only one real skill - a special forces skill for weapons, combat, survival. From the poverty tracks to the 24/7 murky money-making machines of drugs, slavery, prostitution, organized crime and moral ambiguity. This is neo-noir, totally compulsive, one man who may seem like he his taking on the world but is, in the final analysis, taking on himself."
  "Ambiguous Compulsive Noir" (Chloe Thurlow, author of Sophie's Secret)

"This book shows a very interesting look at what happened to a great deal of the veterans who are coming home from that war. They are shunned, stepped on and made to feel less than human. Immerse yourself in this tale and see the mental destruction that takes place from within."
  "Bourbon and Blood" (James M. Copeland, author of Bottom Bones)

From the Author

Non-stop Adrenaline Ride!!! 

'Bourbon & Blood' is a modern & gritty story of war hero who is thrust into New York City's brutal world of organized crime. It's really hitting home readers hard as it takes the very real setting of a drug underworld and encapsulates a character few would associate with it - namely a war hero.

This story is timely, plausible and shockingly vivid. The visceral and sometimes terrifying downward spiral of an under-appreciated United States Military hero will entertain most hard-boiled crime fans. While Bill Conlin survived the risks and rigors of serving in Afghanistan, can he find his way out of New York City's dark drug underworld with his life and dignity intact?

All Conlin wants is a normal life, but his life spirals out of control as he tries to find good in a brutal city. This is a very real reality for many returning from war. Therefore, the book isn't as far-fetched as it may first appear.

'Bourbon & Blood' proves that, while it may appear to be a million miles away from a warzone, home soil is often far from safe.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2775 KB
  • Print Length: 326 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E6WK0XU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,655 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moral Ambiguity Abounds August 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
While this genre is normally not my cup of tea, I was looking for something a little different and decided to give it a try. I will say that I blew through this book faster than any other book in recent memory. I read it over the span of two short evenings, which is saying something. Even with my favorite books, it usually takes me a couple of weeks or so to finish. With Blood and Bourbon, once I started reading, I was hooked and had to keep reading to see how the morally ambiguous main character, Bill Conlin, was going to fare. The gritty underworld Bill got dragged into, somewhat against his will, made for an interesting story. There was no time to catch my breath as Bill ended up in one tense situation after another. I couldn't help pulling for the guy even though I was conflicted about him. Overall, this is a good quick read. I would recommend it if you are looking for an interesting escape from the ho-hum.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! September 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great action. There were no slow moments, as the pace of the story just accelerated along. I enjoyed it very much.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neo-Noir October 18, 2013
By Chloe
Format:Kindle Edition
Books you can really get your teeth into don’t explore one theme, they deal with several that weave together in a magic carpet that takes you flying high into the sky where you have a bird’s eye view of the dilemmas mere mortals have to deal with down below. For a moment, you are suspended, God-like, in that privileged position if being outside the herd looking in.

Garrard Hayes does that in Bourbon & Blood. With a fine brush he paints a portrait of war hero Bill Conlin until we can see ever wrinkle and tic, ever doubt and hope, every busted dream and lost tomorrow. Bill’s an Afghan vet. He’s done his tours. Now he wants a life. And he wants love in the shapely shape of Dana, the diner waitress. She deserves better than that. Can he give it to her. Not without a decent job. Good pay. A future.

Trouble is, Bill Conlin has only one real skill – a special forces skill for weapons, combat, survival. His cousin introduces him to crime boss Frank Sullivan, but that’s not what he’s looking for. Until it comes looking for him. From downtown to uptown. From rags to silk ties and tailored suits. From the poverty tracks to the 24/7 murky money-making machines of drugs, slavery, prostitution, organized crime and moral ambiguity. This is neo-noir, totally compulsive, one man who may seem like he his taking on the world but is, in the final analysis, taking on himself.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of violence. September 23, 2013
By Les
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story features violence. A skilled ex-serviceman gets caught up in mob wars, even though he knows better. The story is OK, but the focus is really on the brutality of the criminals. The protagonist gets with the program and does more than his share. Why he allows this to happen, given his intelligence, is questionable-- but that is the story. And the story will likely keep you reading both for the vicarious thrills and to find out what happens,
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bourbon & Blood August 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Bill Conlin had done a stint in the military during the Afghanistan war and was returned home to a very harsh portion of life. No job for too long a time and nothing but time on his hands. He had lived with his aunt and her son Jimmy during his youth and Jimmy was still on the scene, only in a criminal capacity. He collected rent for the mob. Bill has rejected Jimmy's occupation for as long as he could, but Jimmy is bound and determined his life's brother will have some of the cash he enjoys regardless of the occupation it takes to get it. He volunteers Bill to work with his boss Mr. Sullivan replacing a mobster who had gone wrong and was rewarded with his teeth and fingernails in the palm of his hand for straying.

During his work Bill's good side comes out and he rescues a working girl named Emma along with six of her friends from a prostitution ring being handled by the mob's competition. He meets Dana, another young woman at the Bryant Park Grill, and they get along...well. The mob hears about his endeavors and rewards Bill with a death threat on their second rendezvous.

Bill is really a good guy who would just like to do a job, get paid and go about his life, but that is not to be. Bill views his city for the last time from the deck of a Russian ship headed out of the country, for how long, he just doesn't know. He will live in his chosen life of solitary confinement until...

This book shows a very interesting look at what happened to a great deal of the veterans who are coming home from that war. They are shunned, stepped on and made to feel less than human. Immerse yourself in this tale and see the mental destruction that takes place from within.
Reviewed by: James M. Copeland
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but not great December 8, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fast moving story with lots of violence, improbable situations and inconsistencies. While it was interesting enough to keep me reading I kept wondering why this man kept allowing himself to get into so many bad situations, most life-threatening. And I got tired, about three quarters of the way through, of there being so many, one right after the other. Instead of asking "what next" as I read it became "now what?" It appeared everyone was working together and out to get him and he was the only one of many mobs and their members who didn't understand and always confused. One minute a guy he was dealing with wasn't trustworthy, then he was. The ending was not the end of the story, so it felt unfinished. I suppose a second okay story will come along about the adventure in Russia and him on a boat to return. With several such story inconsistencies the funniest information ones were: a lemon rather than lime with the tequila, and making a cup of Earl Grey Green tea. Well, maybe that's just a New York thing. I suggest the author read more crime and thriller stories held in high standing before trying again. Walter Mosley's detective series is only one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and Provocative
I found this to be a very solid crime thriller. I really liked the main character and the perspective on life he gained from being in the military. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Larry
2.0 out of 5 stars So-so
It was a slow burn of a read and couldn't keep me interested. The synopsis of the story was intriguing until I actually started to read it and I didn't complete the read
Published 20 days ago by Caroline C.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 2 months ago by Trina Haymon
3.0 out of 5 stars Taut Thriller of Veteran in Crime World
FOR 18+ READERS ONLY! Bill Conlin, a recent Afghanistan war veteran, is back home in New York City, living in a one-room dump of an apartment with no job prospects, when his... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kerry L. Reis
3.0 out of 5 stars easy read. Pretty far fetched even for a work ...
Quick, easy read. Pretty far fetched even for a work of fiction.
Published 2 months ago by Arthur L. Lozen
3.0 out of 5 stars solid
It was a solid read. At first I wasn't too into it because it seemed to drag and jump around a lot. But then it picked up at a breakneck pace and I couldn't put my phone down. Read more
Published 2 months ago by wolf.brazen
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Lots of action, very fast-paced, but
too much violence
Published 2 months ago by D. B. Pentland
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a five-star read
Garrard Hayes states that he is a lifelong resident of New York. My sojourn there was for a much shorter length of time. I lived in New York for nearly six years. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael Carrier
5.0 out of 5 stars Bourbon & Blood...and Plenty of Both
In "Bourbon & Blood" author Garrard Hayes gives the reader plenty of both. Returning Afghan war veteran Bill Conlin is looking for work. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ralph E. Vaughan
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my choice of reading.
Not one of my favorite books. It has a lot of foul language, alcoholics, torture, and murder. Written in first person.
Published 5 months ago by goldenpal
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More About the Author

Garrard Hayes is a lifelong New York resident whose ancestors made their living on the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn. His love of action and crime fiction, together with a knack for good, gritty story telling, sparked him to write. He lives in New York with his wife, two children, and three dogs.

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